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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3653
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I would like to know if I have legal rights to reclaim the

Customer Question

I would like to know if I have legal rights to reclaim the money back from a horsebox, or in fact have any legal rights to the horsebox. In addition, I have previously agreed to help out with a vet bill amounting to £3600 in which I do not have and do not feel obliged to do so anymore.

Several months ago, a friend had asked for a loan of £8000 for a horsebox. She had promised that I would be invited to all the horse shows and will return the payment when possible. Knowing that she was unable to do so, I said I would in fact pay for the horsebox in good faith. Since then, I've also had to pay for the tax and insurance. I was invited once on the horsebox for a horse related event. Also, the horsebox is apparently registered in her name, but the insurance had to be bought out in her friend's name as she did not have a qualified licence. The horsebox is also currently kept at the residence premises of this friend. I have paid out for the horsebox insurance in full on the day of collection and the tax is being paid for monthly via direct debit.

 

A little while ago, one of her horse was ill and asked if I could help out with the vet bills to which I had agreed on good faith to keep the horse alive. Since then, the horse had been discharged from hospital with her incapable to provide it with adequate care, resulting in the death of the horse 1 week ago. The vet bill is now overdue and she is claiming that I have put her in debt. All of these conversations and "agreement" were communicated either verbally or through a text. I have helped her much with the purchase of horse feeds and even the purchase of 1 horse at £1000 during our friendship, as well as various horse related accessories. While I am aware that she claims I had bought those items on my own accord and I have no wish to claim monetary value for items bought, I feel she has made use of my good and sympathetic nature to the extreme.

Our friendship has come to an end when I decided to stop all financial aid with her. I am truly disgusted at her outrage and several unapologetic text messages by her in the last 2 months. I am terribly upset with the way things have ended. Or the more, I feel cheated of £8000 in which I have offered to help in good faith. It is not a small sum by any means and I spend years and taking out loans from friends to get the sum for her. It therefore made me feel more disgusted that her continuous claim that I've put her in debt (vet bill) when she has an asset worthing £8000 sitting in her friend's yard which they still enjoy the use of it, whilst I'm paying for the insurance and tax.

 

I would therefore like to claim for part if not full sum of £8000 by selling the horsebox, as there is no way her nor her friend can afford to pay and I would like to know about my liability with regards ***** ***** pending vet bill. IF I am indeed legally entitled to whatever the horsebox can fetch, how can I go about proceeding?

 

Thank you very much.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Can you tell me the following:
(i) How did you pay her the money for loan? In cash?
(ii) Did she ask you to cover the vet bill?
Kind regards
AJ
P.S I am online periodically over the weekend so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,

Many thanks for your respond.

1. The money was paid straight to the seller.

2. Yes. She is asking that I pay the vet bill as she can't afford to do so. She also claims I have put her in debt.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning,

Just to add on that this morning, I've just received a text from her stating I've put her in tremendous stress as the vet bill has not been paid. I have no idea how is it she is able to say that. Surely, legally, there is no stopping her to pay the bill if she should feel as stress as she puts it. She is suggesting that I make small regular payments to the vet until the debt is cleared. Besides feeling extremely distress, I am really "killing" myself with the payment of £8000 I've forked out for the horsebox. It is a series of stupid action and I am more than aware that the law often does not lie in the favour of that. I am hoping you can tell me something different.

Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for the response.
Ultimately you could start a money claim against her here https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome - once you have done and obtained a Judgment you could apply to have the bailiffs go round and seize her property to repay the debt.
However the fact that she is asking you to pay the Vet could be used as negotiating tool - have you said to her effectively she owes you £8k, ask her to transfer the horse box back to you in settlement of your debt - and you can then consider or allude to may be relending her money to pay the Vet bill? Has any of the Vet bill been paid?
Ultiamtely the Vet is not your responsibility if she incurred the debt and you agreed to pay the bill in part in good faith then that was her risk and therefore her debt.
The issue you have is, if the vet makes her bankrupt then you really have no hope of being repaid.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi.

Are you effectively saying I have legal rights to claim the horsebox or the £8000 back? I have mentioned to her that she said she has a horsebox valuing at that amount that she could have sold it. She was adamant that wasn't happening.

Also, can I stop paying for the tax and insurance and does it make a difference that the vehicle is permanently parked on her friend's property?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
As the horsebox is registered in her name you would need to a county court judgment to be able to make a claim against the horse box itself.
Ultimately she is an unsecured debtor to you, and if she does not have cash to pay you, you would need to sue her and then use the judgment to claim against her assets.
What would be the implication to her if you stopped paying the tax and insurance? Would she no longer be able to use the box?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Many thanks for your quick response.

I understand now. Basically if she's not willing to pay me back the £8000 or to sell the box amicably then I'll have to sue her in order to claim. What evidence would I have to produce?

Legally the horsebox will need to be taxed and insured. Therefore if I stop paying, then presumably she will need to pay for it herself which she claims she can't afford. However, I am aware that she has recently purchase a new bike for work, using money she borrowed off family members. I assume she's insured. Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The evidence would be evidence of payment - I appreciate the money did not go to her but can you show you paid for the horse box?
Further more the fact that you insure the horse box could be used as evidence that this is the one you paid for.
If she does not use the horse box anyway does it need to be taxed? The insurance is important to protect you if you want to try and claim the horse box in repayment of your debt. Also how much money do you think the horse box would raise?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

Yes. Part of the payment was done through bank transfer to the seller whilst the rest was paid in cash. I could contact the seller to have them write me a statement stating how the horsebox was paid.

I believe the horsebox is still in use. The horsebox was purchased really for her to use it with a mate who also own horses and drives. Thus tax would be essential I assumed. As for the insurance, it was paid using my debit card and thus I should be able to get it off my bank statement. The horsebox was priced at £8300 to begin with and was purchased at £8000. It is in no worse condition than when bought. Thus I estimate approximately £7000 at the very minimum.

Is it right for me to inform her that I am seeking for the sum of £8000? And that I propose selling of the Box to raise funds? Also if we can't settle it amicably then I'll have to seek legal injunction? As I've read the link to the justice.gov.uk website you've kindly provided. Should we not be able to talk this out amicably, as I've given her till the weekends to provide me with a suitable arrangement, I assume I have to send her a letter. How many days do I have to allow her to reply to the letter before proceeding further?

Sorry, but may I also ask, if I do have to take this to court, are there any possibilities the judge will not rule in my favour for a claim?

Really sorry for my chain of issues!

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
No problem - I am happy to assist as far as I can.
Before you can commence a claim, you will have to notify her that you need to be repaid. I would not mention the horse box other than to say you would accept it in settlement of the debt.
If she does not repay then you can give her 7 day warning and commence court proceedings.
You have to bare in mind that if she has other creditors and you push to far she may just go bankrupt which would mean you would not recover anything, so obtaining a Judgment is pretty crucial to ensure that you actually have a solid proof of the debt.
The only issue you have is proving the debt, but that should be relatively straightforward, especially if the seller acknowledges that you bought the horse box and it can be identified as the one the debtor owns.
Do you also have emails or remember phone calls where the debtor asked to borrow the money?
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I have text messages showing that she has asked for a loan to begin with. Also, like I said, I had proof of transfers from bank statement and hopefully a letter from the seller confirming they have received funds transferred from my bank account and that the rest was received in cash. Hopefully that will be enough. I have informed her that I would like for the money to be repaid and that if she cannot afford to repay then I would propose selling of the horsebox to raise as much funds possible. I have also informed her that I would wait till the weekends for her to provide me with a plan of some sort as to how the money will be repaid.

Thank you very much with all your help!

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
I wish you the best of luck. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

I'm not quite sure if I can just ask you a question from here like this.

Its with regard to the question previously asked. I have since contacted this person and send her a letter and provided 7 days for reply. She has since replied with a counter claim and suggest that I have committed fraud. I may have lied initially that I have had a letter from the seller confirming that it was me who made the payment in my letter which she has caught my bluff on. I do however still have proof of the bank transfer I've made from my account to the seller.

How else should I proceed from here?

Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
No problem - I am happy to assist.
Allegations of fraud are extremely serious, she would find this very difficult to actually prove.
How is she saying you committed fraud?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there,

I quote from her letter "Please provide this letter stating that the horse box was bought by yourself as I feel that this is fraudulence as I have a letter signed by the seller and myself stating that the horsebox was now in my ownership"

**In relation to the above, I can advise that I have been in contact with the seller since who have kindly provided me with an invoice of the full amount of the horsebox paid with my name and address on it.

At the end of the letter she has written,

"Please note that I am unwilling to include a signature which I use in day-to-day use as I feel that Miss Adeline Lee has exhibited fraudulent tendencies, visible in the claim of a letter from the seller of the horsebox as well as the endless supply of lies I have encountered throughout our "friendship". ...."

In the last couple of months when she would continuously claimed that I am a liar. I have asked her to provide example each time to which she has no reply. I have never done anything fraudulent in my knowledge towards her in the time that I have known her. I have warned her that she needs to stop saying it but she wouldn't. Is there anything I can do about it?

Sorry for any inconvenience once again. Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The horsebox was not bought by you, it was bought with your money.
She is the legal owner, what you are trying to say is that you need her to repay you and if she does not repay you, you would like her to sell or return the horse box in order to repay you.
This fraud thing is just a scare tactic, to take the pressure off her. Ultimately the situation she owes you money that you need repaid.
I think if she will not correspond with you reasonably you should consider just commencing court proceedings against?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your reply. Yes. I've started printing out the evidence to proceed with court proceedings.

Thank you for your help.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
No problem.
Do the court papers say you lent her the money to buy the horse box? What you need to do is make the claim and obtain a court judgment, you can then use the judgment to try and seize property she has in order to repay your debt. If she is the registered legal owner of the box, I would not try and dispute this
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi.

Oh. I haven't had any court papers yet. I thought I had to try and gather all the evidence before I could do anything.

I have told her that I did not say I own the box. I merely state to her that I've paid for it and I have proof, and that I am still paying for the road tax and insurance. I also did mention that I would accept the horsebox as payment as long as it is in no worse state than when it was being bought, excluding any wear and tear from use. She however claims in her reply letter that the horsebox was a gift from me and that it has now being sold. She also claims that the horsebox is no longer worth £8000 but instead coming up with a price of exactly half that at £4000 due to multiple components failure.. A sum she claims the horsebox was sold for. She also blames me in her reply letter saying it was an oversight from myself when purchasing.

The horsebox is still parked in the same location as it always is and the horsebox was seen in use within the last 2 months.

Can I not reply to her letter and proceed with small claims straighy away? Or do I still have to reply to her letter dated 23rd May?

Kind regards,

Adeline

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Have you sent her a letter warning that if she does not repay you will commence proceedings?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. I have which results in her reply of a counterclaim.